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Are there any tools to detect whether is MicroSD/SD card is dying?


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#1 IAmTheTrueMeaningOfCovfefe

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Posted 2 weeks ago

I would like to test a MicroSD card to see if its' write cycles are wearing thin. I know they operate much like SSDs in that they are flash-based storage and have a limited # of writes, at which point they either die or become read-only. One of my Android phones gets stuck while booting, it just hangs forever on the ROM's boot logo, but it only seems to happen when this particular MicroSD is inserted. Without it, it always boots fine. My custom TWRP recovery also throws weird red error/info messages about not being able to find a crypto footer, sometimes the /data partition and internal/external storage are unavailable/not mounted.

 

Thanks!



#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted A week ago

There is nothing much more useful than a simple H2testW, at least on most SD cards.

 

Some "industrial grade" (and "recent") cards may have however some provisions, HDsentinel is a program that can read the data:

https://www.hdsentin...alth_status.php

 

though personally I rate this kind of stuff as "voodoo", better than I-Ching but far less accurate than a properly tuned crystal ball.

 

Most probably these provisions make sense on "mission critical" industrial application, where a routine check is performed and as soon as a minimal "level" is detected the device is replaced with a new one, though I believe that with this approach cards are discarded without any reason and the number of failures is not so much reduced anyway.

 

:duff:

Wonko


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#3 IAmTheTrueMeaningOfCovfefe

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Posted A week ago

@Wonko: Whether the card is fake isn't in question, I just need to know if it's on its' way out the door. It is a Patriot 200GB, capacity is properly reported to all OSes. I once filled it completely so I know its' capacity is correct. It also performed near its' advertised speed for the first few months, I bought it almost 2 years ago and have used it heavily. But I do find it weird that all my Android devices claim it is a Lexar.

What about Linux tools, like say maybe, SmartMonTools? I'm currently only running an Arch Linux install on my internal drives, no Windows. But I can still use Easy2Boot to boot into a PE to run H2TestW. I doubt it will run properly under WINE, WINE isn't designed with drivers/hardware in mind.

Perhaps it's also possible that the card's F2FS filesystem is throwing things off, I chose it because I never access it directly under Windows, and because it is optimized for flash storage. All my Android OSes read/write to it properly. It also helps because it noticeably increases my write speeds and reduces corruption. EXFat was horrible in these regards.

#4 Wonko the Sane

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Posted A week ago

On linux you can try smartctl or hdparm, but if the specific SD card has no such means (or has not them exposed in a "standard" manner) you won't get anything.

 

Even on supported devices (such as hard disks) the SMART is one of the lest accurate prediction models ever conceived. 

 

:duff:

Wonko



#5 IAmTheTrueMeaningOfCovfefe

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Posted A week ago

@Wonko: I'm pretty sure SD cards don't support SMART. Is there a way to determine the theoretical max write limit, and how much has been used?

#6 Wonko the Sane

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Posted A week ago

@Wonko: I'm pretty sure SD cards don't support SMART. Is there a way to determine the theoretical max write limit, and how much has been used?

NO, unless, as said they are particular models of cards (that may provide such info, and - again - even if such info is available it is NOT in any way reliable).

 

:duff:

Wonko



#7 IAmTheTrueMeaningOfCovfefe

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Posted A week ago

Well, as I see it, right now the 3 things that are proving to be unreliable are:

1. One phone won't boot with it inserted (but previously did), presumably it's trying to mount the card at boot and finding something it doesn't like. I already did an fsck in Linux, it says the F2FS FS is fine
2. Degraded speed over time
3. An increasing amount of write failures/corruption

Those alone seem to imply that I should be looking to replace it soon.

So, SMART is the only way to measure these kinds of things?

I've long suspected that the device in question has other issues. There are still 90+ days left on the warranty, perhaps I should make a call and cash that in before it expires. They might be able to fix any issues free of charge, minus shipping.

#8 Wonko the Sane

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Posted A week ago

Slower access and increase in errors may also be due to a partially corrupted filesystem (that fschk doesn't identify) or to *something else* that we don't know.

I would (after having made a backup) try to zero out the device and re-partition/re-format it and test it again with H2testw or similar (or whatever tool you used to benchmark it originally).

In the best case it will restore previous access times, in the worse case it would do nothing, and you would have spent anyway the time to wipe an re-format it anyway before sending it to the supplier under warranty (I mean, it's not like you are going to send back a non-wiped device containing any of your files, aren't you? :w00t: :ph34r:)

 

:duff:

Wonko



#9 IAmTheTrueMeaningOfCovfefe

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Posted A week ago

Completely zeroing out an Android phone's entire internal storage isn't possible unless you have specialized hardware, which only the manufacturers seem to possess. Certain partitions are write protected, rooted or not. You can't even do it via fastboot. I'm sure it would work on an SD though. But is there another way to reset the SD's flash storage, without writing zeros, which will take many hours? I know it can be done with an SSD, Parted Magic has an option for ATA/NVMe hardware low level secure erase, which I've never felt a need to use yet.

The manufacturer in question, while not being particularly friendly to the modding community, has still been known to honor warranties on modded devices, though doing so generally violates warranty, so they have no obligation. Nevertheless, I RMAed a modded phone to them before, they fixed it without complaint. But I didn't mention rooting etc on the phone either. Naturally since the device still boots I would flash stock firmware first, reversing all self-made changes. I personally could care less if they see my files, it's not like I'm storing blueprints for a biochemical weapon or something. I doubt they will care about my peculiar porn fetishes or whatever. If one of the techs wants to fap to my pic collection then be my guest, but fix it and return it regardless.

#10 Wonko the Sane

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Posted A week ago

I see, you are talking of returning the phone, I was talking of the SD card.

 

In any case, if the phone still boots, doing a factory reset before sending it to assistance remains a good idea.

 

:duff:

Wonko






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